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Week 17: Oakland vs. Kansas City Preview & Free Pick

Oakland Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs Free Week 17 NFL Football Pick

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Week 17: Raiders at Chiefs Matchup Handicapping Analysis

It’s Week 17 of the 2010 NFL Football season and veteran sportswriter Matt Martz will preview all of the weekly AFC West match ups throughout the season, providing some insight to help make your NFL football wagers winners. Check back every week for your complete source for NFL football gambling right here on CappersPicks.com.

Date/Time: Sunday, January 2, 1:00 PM ET
Venue: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
Broadcast: CBS
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Betting Lines from Bookmaker
Money Line: Oakland (+160) Kansas City (-190)
Spread: Kansas City -3
Over/Under: 43
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Kansas City (10-5) hosts Oakland (7-8) in the regular season finale at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday.

The Chiefs are the AFC West champs for the first time since 2003 and will have little to play for against the Raiders. Meanwhile, it can be argued that Oakland is the dominant team in the division as the Raiders are 5-0 against the West. That’s little consolation for Oakland, which will miss the playoffs once again.

Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel had a fantastic season with 3,001 yards, 27 touchdown and just five picks. Running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 1,380 yards while receiver Dwayne Bowe made the Pro Bowl after catching 15 touchdown passes. However, it’s not certain how much any of these three will play against the Raiders. The Chiefs can’t clinch home field advantage, so they will likely rest this trio in anticipation of the first round of the playoffs. In Cassel’s place, look for Brody Croyle to get reps, while Thomas Jones should spell Charles. This could be a spotty offensive performance by the Chiefs, but look for them to keep the ball on the ground for the most part–KC led the NFL in rushing yards per game.

The Chief defense is good against the run and it will need to be good again if it wants to beat Oakland. Kansas City is led by a solid front seven that includes linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali. Rookie Eric Berry, who has been as advertised at strong safety, leads the secondary.

Oakland is similar in style to the Chiefs offensively, with an emphasis on the ground game. The Raiders are second in the NFL to the Chiefs in rushing and are led by Darren McFadden, who has 1,157 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Michael Bush, who has 518 yards and seven scores. Jason Campbell has had a solid year at quarterback with 2,243 yards and 12 touchdown passes. He’s been especially efficient over the last four games. Tight end Zach Miller is his top target with 55 catches for 654 yards and five touchdowns. This is a conservative, run-first offense, but look for things to open up a bit against the Chiefs on Sunday.

It’s a good thing the Chiefs might put a brake on its offense, since the Raiders are one of the worst in the league at stopping the run. The secondary is the clear strength of this unit and ranks third in passing defense. Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and safety Michael Huff is an emerging star.

The Raiders have won five of the last six in this often-bitter series. While the Chiefs are getting ready for a playoff run, Oakland is looking to close out its season on a high note. This should give the Raiders the advantage despite being on the road. The Chiefs are favored by -3 with a total of 43.5, but look for Oakland to jump on the Chiefs early and win this one easily.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Oakland 28, Kansas City 17

Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, and Utah Spectrum. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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